These photos show parts of myself I don’t always love; my hips, the scar on my back, all the painful impressions clothes leave on my skin because I’m not thin, the callous skin of my elbows, my stretch marks, body hair, my back, my tummy. It’s a constant struggle trying to accept that this is my body and I’m allowed to love it and feel comfortable and confident in it. Sometimes I feel so ashamed of my body because I feel like the realness of it is ugly. But then I realise that my body isn’t flawed, that the only flawed thing is this idea that only a perfect photoshopped body that looks like it’s never seen real life can be beautiful. Fuck that. My body is real and beautiful and every part of it is a sign of life and that in itself is beautiful. Life leaves its marks on all of us; why not embrace them?
If you’re dating someone and they cheat on you with the girl sitting across them from the bar, or anyone for that matter, do not ask their name, why they did it, and if it was worth it. Just leave. Do not swear your revenge, or that you find the one who broke your relationship because the person who broke your trust is sitting right in front of you. The person who ruined what you had is the one who promised that they never would. Do not fixate yourself on what you should have or could have done, but what you will do, which is leave. You gave them a chance and now they can see it walk out the door.
You’re going to make mistakes and that’s inevitable, but what isn’t is making those same mistakes twice. You are supposed to learn from the pain, supposed to take it into your hands, hang it on your wall to remind yourself that you will never let it happen again. It’s hard stopping others from repeating their tragedies, but when it comes to your own, you are in control.
Love as many as you want. Kiss as many as you want. Fuck as many as you want. But when you do these things do it with all of you. Do it because you know it will show you something, help you with something, make sense of things. Never do a task that was assigned by someone else if you are not interested, not comfortable, unwilling. You can do anything you want to do as long as you know that there is only understanding and truth behind it. Never settle, never give in and never do anything that you don’t want to just because you feel bad.
Learn to say no. Learn to fight. Learn the difference between love and lust and learn to love yourself. If you love yourself, when you’re alone, you won’t need the presence of another just to make you feel at ease. You’ll have the power of healing in your very own body. You’re beautiful, remember that, write it down, scream it out loud and never forget. You have the entire world inside of your hands and the only thing you truly need to know to push through these trying times is that you can do anything. Now do it.